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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

DANGEROUS SABER RATTLING


During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump broke precedent by using blunt, unsubtle rhetoric time and time again.  This especially applied to his talk about the military and his expected roll as commander in chief;  saying he would "blow the shit" out of Isis, and use "waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse" on suspected terrorists were common statements from him.  These childish comments were often mentioned when people like myself said that he lacked the proper temperament to be president.  Sadly, his base seemed to love him for it.
So here we are, less than a year into his presidency, and already that blunt talk of his may lead to some dangerous consequences.  Recently, in the wake of the UN passing sanctions against his country, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ramped up his own threats against the US, discussing the possibility of attacking Guam, which has an American base.  He has even raised the specter of launching  nuclear missiles at the US, although according to the New York Times, there's some debate as to whether such an attack is possible.  Trump's response to these threats was something no president has every publicly said before: he said that North Korea faced "fire and fury like the world has never seen."  Although the implied use of nuclear weapons against our enemies has been part of American foreign policy since the late 1940's, no president has ever so openly and forcefully threatened another country in this manner.  The fact that he made those comments while vacationing at a golf course adds to the surreal nature of what this country has become since he took office!

To be fair to Trump, there are no easy answers to the problem of North Korea; Kim Jong-Un is an absolute unstable dictator, and the new round of sanctions will probably have little affect other than making him angrier.  He seems determined to develop more and stronger weapons, realizing that the possibility of a vicious nuclear strike will prevent invasion from other countries.  Despite all of this, Trump's approach of threatening some kind of a massive attack is frightening and over the top; hopefully he and his advisors realize that both a nuclear strike or a military invasion of North Korea would be an epic disaster, with perhaps millions of lives being lost.  Given those stakes, it's terrifying that the fate of the world now rests in the hands of two hot headed, egotistical men.  All we can hope for now is that the people around them are smarter and more level headed then they are, and that they will listen to them.

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